Enjoy every minute. Don’t hesitate to talk to a professional if you’re feeling isolated or lonely, or you’re just not sure what’s going on.
Debi Lynes 0:03 Hi and welcome to aging in place for every stage in life. What if you could visit or have a home that would accommodate anyone? at any age, any physical ability at any time? How cool would that be? That’s what we’re doing here at Aging in Place. Why me because I’m a doctor of psychology and I specialize in physical spaces and health and wellness. Also, I love designing with intent at any age. Why now, because we the baby boomers want to age in place gracefully, and we want our families around us as much as we can. And why you the audience, because we want you to experience what it’s like to have a home that safe, aesthetically pleasing, and that you can live in at any age, with any ability at any time. I’d like to introduce you now to Aging in Place Podcast for every stage in life.
Hi, and welcome to Aging in Place Podcast for any stage in life. I am here today with my good friend, Dr. Lynn Geiger. And I’m thrilled to have you here. Dr. Geiger is a psychologist and has been a mentor with me and for me for many, many years, I really appreciate you joining us on what I’d like to do in this first segment is talk a bit about your background. And then we’ll move on and talk about really, the psychological aspects of aging, if we may. So first, a little bit about you.
Lynn Geiger 1:37 As you said, I’m a clinical psychologist, and my, as a kid, I grew up always wanting to be a teacher.
Debi Lynes 1:44 I didn’t know that.
Lynn Geiger 1:45 Yeah, and as you notice, there is considerable overlap between the two. However, I prepared to teach Spanish and then just as I was graduating college.
Debi Lynes 1:54 You know espanol?
Lynn Geiger 1:55 Yeah justifies preparing to graduate I realized, oh my gosh, no one will want to spend the day with me. Because if you count it out, really not many people like to be with our Spanish teacher. That’s right.
Debi Lynes 2:10 No, that’s true. I gotta give you that.
Lynn Geiger 2:11 So I immediately changed careers. I was very lucky, only briefly contemplate being a lawyer. And then I became a guidance counselor.
Debi Lynes 2:21 Actually, I can see you as an attorney too.
Lynn Geiger 2:25 what is the same thing? Who do you want to hang around?
Debi Lynes 2:27 Exactly. What’s really interesting to me is in the process of doing this podcast that the people that I’ve interviewed and talked to been really fascinating. Many of them have reinvented themselves over the years as they’ve gotten older or really decided what they want to do. You’ve got three kids for four kids. That’s what I thought, and it’s fun watching them grow up. Oh, absolutely. So let’s talk a little bit about the aging process. One of the things I really wanted to do was get a psychologist in here to help us to kind of debunk and demystify some of the things about aging, you and I were talking about even the developmental stages of aging, can you share a little bit with us about what those look like?
Lynn Geiger 3:10 So I want to talk a little bit about, particularly Erik Erikson. Okay. And he kind of came up with psychosocial developmental stuff. And so this is very old stuff, you know, we’re probably talking to 60s 70s stuff. But certainly, because I’m pretty old. In the olden days, we really thought of development stopping at about 21. Okay, and it wasn’t till everyone like realized that that just made no sense whatsoever. And he’s actually the person that came up with a phrase identity crisis. And we did actually kind of put those two pieces together. And so you know, he goes through the developmental phases of infancy and toddlerhood and kind of elementary school and all that but for our podcast, your podcast, Or what we’re really interested in is the last two. Okay. And that so one, again, in his timeframe, he was saying for people about 40 years old to 65 years old. The main focus was on what he called generativity, okay. And that’s developing yourself more and more as an adult. And so if you think about developing a career path, some people have families developed, you know, raising family, some people that are not connected with their biological or family of origin and they form new families. Okay, and how people are either comfortable doing that and keep moving forward, or become uncomfortable and kind of get stuck and hopefully, get out of that rut and figure out how to move forward. Okay, and then the second, the next the last phase. Again, his levels of were 65 and beyond, and I actually think that he ended at 80. But that was emphasizing our wisdom and using our wisdom. Again, how does one creatively confront end of life? And so, so those are the two things you’re talking about here.
Debi Lynes 5:09 It was really fun. Lynn and I met yesterday for a couple of minutes to kind of chat about the way we wanted to see this podcast go on what we thought would be interesting. And of course, which is pretty typical of us talking. It’s sort of, we started in one direction, and it took another direction. And one of the things that I was laughing at was that my memory sometimes isn’t what it should be. And, and you were very clear and concise about exactly what worrying about dementia or Alzheimer’s or is it just a normal aging symptom to not be able to remember?
Lynn Geiger 5:44 So typically, what happens is as we age, we have a longer time what we call latency time to pull up certain information, okay, so the name of a person the name of a place, find a word got it that takes longer to do.
Debi Lynes 5:57 But we can do it.
Lynn Geiger 5:58 Or we can do it and of course, We do a best if we don’t get anxious about it. Okay. Try not to think about it. It pops in your brain fast. Okay. Oh, so compared to younger adults, they do it faster than we do. However, we are actually better at problem-solving than younger adults.
Debi Lynes 6:14 I did you hear what she said.
Lynn Geiger 6:16 Better at problem solved.
Debi Lynes 6:17 No, that’s important.
Lynn Geiger 6:18 it is. And that’s where our life experience comes in. Because we’ve solved so many problems already. And that’s where the wisdom component comes in. that oftentimes at this stage of life, people have a sense of, you know, when they have self-confidence when they trust their intuition when they trust that first response.
Debi Lynes 6:38 What’s really interesting now that you bring that up is my son’s a doctor, my dad’s a doctor 92 and 42. Yeah, actually, okay. And when they are confronted, we were actually talking about viruses or we were talking about this side or the other and watching Brandon, my son go through sort of a decision making tree it might be this it might be this and my dad was like, pet it. Had it. Yes. And at the end, it was just it was really fun to watch them go talk about why my dad said that and how Brandon arrived at the same or different conclusion at the end it was so I know
Lynn Geiger 7:11 exactly what I’m talking about. That’s the advantage that as we get older that see that we have
Debi Lynes 7:16 which is really interesting to me when we’re talking about it from a cultural point of view. Because I think the older I get the more I hate to say wise but the more anchored I feel, or the more my decisions are less based on emotion and they’re much more blended between emotion and logic. Do you find that that’s true for most people? And that’s what wisdom is.
Lynn Geiger 7:40 That’s a great question. I think that’s one component of wisdom. Yes. Okay. Absolutely. experience. And I think that it’s the, you know, you want to get to that place where you trust yourself more. Okay. Which is what your dad did in solving that problem.
Debi Lynes 7:57 Right? I don’t even think he thought about it. I think he just intuitive They said this is exactly what it is.
Lynn Geiger 8:02 So I want to add because you had brought it up, the dementia is more like you do something strange. Like you walk in the house and you put your car keys in the freezer. Okay, okay, that’s not. So that’s a different type of memory problem. That’s like not self-monitoring, not being aware of what you’re doing that sort of thing. So it’s not like I forget, good old buzzers names I knew in high school.
Debi Lynes 8:26 Got it. Exactly. Or I walk into my pantry and I’m thinking, Oh, my gosh, what was it that I
Lynn Geiger 8:32 That’s very typical, is it pretty right? And typically, either if you stand there, you’ll remember or if you go back to where you came from, and start again, remember.
Debi Lynes 8:40 What I’d love to do is we’re going to take a break here in about 30 seconds is to come back and chat with you a little bit about the folks that you see that are, let’s say 40 and over 50 and over what are some of the typical things that they are curious about worried about and want to work through So stay with us. We’ll be right back here on aging in place.
Hi, I’m Dr. Debi Lynes. Design elements are psychologically and physically supportive and conducive to health and wellness. To learn more about what lions on design can do for you for more information on certified aging in place, and facilitative and supportive design, look for us at lynesondesign.com. That’s L-y-n-e-s on design dot com. We are back here on aging in place.
Once again, we’re here with Dr. Lynn Geiger. And we’re talking about well, you just said it, coping with getting older coping with the stage in life. That corresponds, I guess, to your chronological age, which is kind of an interesting thing to even talk about because I’m 66 and I not sure what I thought 66 would be or feel like, but I’m not. On one hand, I don’t really feel like I’m old and on the other hand, my chronologic gage is pretty evident. So who do you when you see folks?
Lynn Geiger 10:04 So let’s just go with that first. I mean, I think that, you know, the baby boomer generation, our definition of old has changed.
Debi Lynes 10:10 Yes, that’s true. Okay. So,
Lynn Geiger 10:11 you know, I remember 10 years ago, we were saying, you know, 50 is the new 40.
Debi Lynes 10:17 Okay, now 66 is the new 40 we’re going to be at So,
Lynn Geiger 10:20 so have to pay attention to that aspect of people have focused more and more upon know how to stay youthful, okay. And there’s good aspects of that. Right, right. But there are some nuts or good aspects where people get like, a little crazy and
Debi Lynes 10:37 talk to me about that, because I hear what you’re saying.
Lynn Geiger 10:39 I mean, I think that that’s, you know, right now, the American culture is very focused on always having a youthful appearance. And sometimes we go overboard with that. Okay, right. Yes. So, so I want to pay attention that in our discussion, we try to keep a balanced sense of that.
Debi Lynes 10:55 Okay. And I hear what you’re saying. I think if I hear you correctly, you’re saying and I’m just being really honest, I really I’ve always been in the sun. I have wrinkles now. I don’t really mind. I have earned them correct. Okay, correct. And so I guess I had a choice. I guess we all have choices, we can embrace it move forward, or we can do what we can too.
Lynn Geiger 11:19 Right? And so okay, right. And so again, that’s going back to your original question. That’s part of the What do I accept? And how do I cope? Ah, and your sense is, I accept I’ve earned these wrinkles. So it’s okay for me, right? And you know, you’re able to cope. But for another person might be, I cannot accept these wrinkles. These are too disturbing to me, that may be too uncomfortable. I would like to have some type of treatment for that. Right? That makes perfect sense. And so and it’s more, you know, what is the person’s issue and how do they manage that issue? And I think you had mentioned on the break, what about someone who now dissolves sudden being bossed around, you know, a [two-year-old woman or a six-year-old] woman being bossed around by her, her son. Right. But one of my favorites is when all of a sudden, I don’t hear this from men, of course. The woman tells me that someone in her family is always taking her elbows across the street. Oh, you know, and so that, do you do interpret that as a nice, friendly, protective gesture that don’t mean you fall and break a hip? Or is it Oh, they think I’m demented. And I can’t cross the street by myself.
Debi Lynes 12:31 Well, it’s funny that you say that because somebody got at Kroger’s, the other day was like, Ma’am, can I help you? And I’m like, What? I think I was living off some water or whatever. Right? And I was like, Yeah, I almost was taken back by that’s what you’re saying. That’s what I’m saying. I never even thought about that. Right.
Lynn Geiger 12:48 Right. So then how do you interpret that message, right? And then what do you do about it because you know, the woman that are sharks or some ruffle with her elbow, you know, is highly offended, right. And it’s she want I want her to think, now wait a sec, you know, this is part of my aging and if he wants to help me, but not decide that I have lost my brain, and I cannot think independently anymore. Okay, I can cope with that. But if it’s like, No, no, no, he’s he’s telling me I’m, I can’t look both ways and see if there’s a car coming. You know.
Debi Lynes 13:24 Do you find it that men women who do come to you that are over 50? Are are looking at very different things than let’s say young adults or adolescents? Are they? Are they feeling more depressed or fearful with their mortality? Because I know it’s 1718 when we see a lot of times when you see kids, they’re like, yeah, you know, I’m immortal. And now it’s more Okay, how am I going to successfully live like this? Or what are some of the things.
Lynn Geiger 13:51 So it’s just two pieces here. I think that almost all of us are impacted by our family and what’s going on whereas our family in the life cycle. Okay, so if someone is a grandparent who is middle to late 70s, now raising grandchildren because their parents aren’t available.
Debi Lynes 14:12 That makes a lot.
Lynn Geiger 14:12 Doesn’t add a huge amount really huge. So that person is at a lifecycle of, I’m still parenting. Okay, I’m still raising children. So they’re really still focused on that phase of the lifecycle. Very different from someone the same age, who, you know, whose grandchildren are in their 20s. Right, right. And he’s more focused on end of life as you say, How do I understand death and that piece. And the same can be said of a person who’s 50 it really depends so much where the life cycle is, okay?
Debi Lynes 14:45 Help me with this. My dad’s 92 and we talk a lot on the podcast. I’ve got a two-year-old granddaughter and a 92-year-old dad and the similarities are pretty amazing. But I find one of the things that concerns me with my dad and I hear this more and more often. with folks that are a little bit older, like that will be saying, you know, I just miss my friends, I can’t really relate. You know, I love you, Debi, but I can’t really relate to you. And I definitely don’t relate to the 40-year-olds, and now I’ve got a lot of grandchildren. And it’s the, the relating to peers, I think that seems to be causing.
Lynn Geiger 15:22 I think there’s two really important pieces of what you’re talking about. One, as we get older, we are confronted with more and more loss, loss of ability, talked about loss, memory, loss of physical strength, loss of friends, big time. That’s huge. And that’s a big piece of it is how do you adapt to all that loss. But the other piece of the important psychological pieces. Yes, it’s really good to develop younger friendships with people who are younger than you are. Once you reach adulthood.
Debi Lynes 15:54 Again, use your wisdom, right? Yeah. Yeah. Do you do a lot of reframing or getting people to see things through a different lens. I mean, if someone comes in and says, Look, I just can’t relate to anybody I’ve lost all my friends had to move out of my home, retired in a place. I don’t really know. Because that’s I mean, Oh, yes. Okay.
Lynn Geiger 16:13 Oh, absolutely. Absolutely.
Debi Lynes 16:14 What are some tools, I guess, or techniques that you’d like to see people have in their arsenal of coping mechanisms?
Lynn Geiger 16:24 So, this sounds so silly, but it’s really important. As we get older, our muscles in our face, say, like our eyes, we have to have read or write that stuff. And so people feel that they’re smiling and they are not smiling.
Debi Lynes 16:40 Oh, interesting. So
Lynn Geiger 16:42 One of my biggest tips is you have to actually look in a mirror to see when it feels like you’re smiling. Okay.
Debi Lynes 16:49 Oh, I never even thought about right. Yeah, that’s it’s true.
Lynn Geiger 16:51 So, um, so the much older person walks down the hallway in a residential facility or walks in the street and they believe they’re smiling. And the rest of us think that’s an angry old man. Right? Yes. So, of course, to attract people to, you know, this smile is the most instinctive thing that attracts us to people. So there’s a very simple thing to stay in touch. So even if that person is at the grocery store, and smiles at a clerk, and then they had that brief social interaction that improves their day, right?
Debi Lynes 17:26 Well, and that brings me in I know we’ve only got about a minute that brings me to a question for you about isolation.
Lynn Geiger 17:33 Well, we all know that’s a dangerous it’s a high-risk factor for things that go along. Both your health not going well. Your end of life pieces not going well. Yeah, isolation is very psychologically unhealthy.
Debi Lynes 17:48 When you take break again, we’re going to come back one of the things I would love to ask you is your thought and I have a bias on this because I’m all I’m all about this about people coming to see a psychologist, healthy people coming as they go through different stages in life, so stay with us. We’ll be right back. Once again, we’re here with Dr. Lynn Geiger.
Henrik de Gyor 18:09 For more podcast episodes, links, information and media inquiries, please visit our website at Aging in Place podcast.com as we transition through life with the comfort and ease you deserve, discover how you can create a home that will adapt to you as you journey through life and the changes it will bring. Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. As our host Debi Lynes and her expert guests discuss relevant topics to creating a home for all decades in life. Don’t miss our weekly episodes of Aging in Place Podcast for every stage in life.
Debi Lynes 18:47 We are back here on Aging in Place Podcast for any stage in life. Our guest today is Dr. Lynn Geiger. We’ve been talking about some of the psychological aspects of the aging process. We’ve been talking about two-year-olds and 92 year old and stages of development. It’s really interesting. And before the break, I asked you a quick question. And that was your feelings on people coming to a psychologist when they’re not feeling bad when they’re just going through sort of life’s issues.
Lynn Geiger 19:20 I think this is really beneficial. You know, part of my job is to be a good consultant. You know, and just as you are, you know, I am not good with style and color and stuff like that. And if I want my home to look really well put together, it’s probably worth my time and money to have an international designer consult with me. Right? Well, I think the same about the questions that you’re asking that if someone has a very, very close friend or a very, very close family member, that can non-judgmental may help them talk through that stuff. That’s wonderful. But many of us don’t nowadays, and especially, true many, many people don’t want to share this with their adult children.
Debi Lynes 20:07 Because I don’t want to judge I don’t want my kids to worry, right?
Lynn Geiger 20:09 They don’t want them to worry. Correct. Right. Yeah. Huge. And so I think in that way, coming to use a person like myself as psychologists and mental health professional, as a consultant, you know, you’re not coming 20 times.
Debi Lynes 20:24 How do I shift the mindset for some folks that are a bit older for me again, you know, I totally believe in the evidence-based psychology and I think it is a science. Oftentimes, when I’ve talked to older people, there’s a hesitancy to come and talk to a trained professional. How do we shift that point of view?
Lynn Geiger 20:50 I think we continue to address that issue of stigma. Okay, and, and separate out. Illness versus you were talking about healthy people coming Got it? Yes, we so we were talking to me. If you have if a person has an illness, I want them to get some kind of treatment,
Debi Lynes 21:09 correct. I know that we know that the brain is an organ, correct. And we can treat it correct. And there are evidence-based right interventions that actually work.
Lynn Geiger 21:20 Right, So it’s the same thing. If, if someone has diabetes, and they say, you know, I’m just going to manage my diet and exercise and I’ll, that’s all I’m going to do. And if a physician a health care practitioner says, No, you really need insulin, we really have to work on this. Everyone would agree probably, let’s follow the physicians treatment plan. All right.
Debi Lynes 21:43 Yes, that makes perfect.
Lynn Geiger 21:44 The same to me if someone has depression, right, and I’m not saying okay, she’d have to take medicine for depression, you know, but, you know, the single most effective factor in treating depression is exercise.
Debi Lynes 21:57 Oh, yeah, it is right.
Lynn Geiger 21:58 Of course, I can get depressed be able to exercise by right. Well, but yeah, get a full treatment plan. Right. So, um, so I think part of it is just to continue to come back to the stigma issue. Good people. It’s like, it’s not like in the olden days, it was all about willpower, right? I’ll power my way through diabetes. Yeah, I don’t
Debi Lynes 22:16 know it was willpower. I’m not depressed, I can get through this or just I need to pull myself up by my bootstraps.
Lynn Geiger 22:23 Yeah, and we know more now, you know, a lot more. So that’s, so that’s that stigma piece. And then the other is for healthy people. If you are someone that suck, you know, understand yourself better and solves your problems better by talking out loud. And if you don’t have a trusted person to do that with mental health professional is great. Although there are us and I want to add as many clergy that are also great. This is finding someone
Debi Lynes 22:52 Is it is it more about for you, the objectivity piece, the resourcing piece, the fact that you have sort of tips, tools, techniques, That can help people. How do you How does the cycle How do you view yourself with your client? Are you a team?
Lynn Geiger 23:09 So I certainly we are team. We are partners in working towards a goal together. Absolutely. You know, I am a very, very strong proponent of evidence-based treatment. I really think the science behind different treatment matters. And just like I don’t want to go into the operating room and have someone say, Oh, well, today, I feel preparing this. Now we’re here for a specific focus. I’m still I want to come back to the strongest component of all the components that makes to successful is the therapeutic relationship. So to me that empathy, active listening, being genuine, that’s the strongest component, especially when you’re talking about something deeply powerful to a person for end of life issues are how do I adjust and adapt to this season of loss. Right. So I think that’s the other component that’s really critical.
Debi Lynes 24:12 How do people What do you share with people when it comes to knowing who to go to? How to find some?
Lynn Geiger 24:20 Well, I really think it’s get the vibes. Okay, you got it. When you talk on the phone, you can tell the vibes. And even if you don’t talk with the person themselves, you’ve talked with their office staff, the office staff so often, mirror.
Debi Lynes 24:34 Sets the tone of a hall. That’s so true, isn’t it? Yeah. So and I know in the last few minutes, you wanted to kind of go back to the developmental stages a little bit.
Lynn Geiger 24:42 So if you think of those stages, though, these last couple, these last couple of stages are a time when we are exclusively examining ourselves internally, okay. We’re asking about our own psychology, our own functioning, we’re assessing our own anxieties more so, except for adolescence more so than any other phase. Okay, well, no infants aren’t doing that. No, no others aren’t doing that.
Debi Lynes 25:09 Mothers aren’t doing it. They’re just trying to survive. Right? Right.
Lynn Geiger 25:12 Um, and especially I love talking about end of life because, you know, people with our words are focused on what do I think happens when I die? Okay, but with their fears, they’re talking about the step before that. What am I worried about those last moments of the dying process? Which here for us is usually about pain? Yeah, I was just gonna say pain and dignity. You know, makes sense and, and slipping away of independence. I am I’m How do I make that transition of the healthcare proxy? When do I make that shift of I have to let go and I can’t make those healthcare decisions myself.
Debi Lynes 25:55 Can you be an advocate for client in helping kind of, I’m not saying guide the process. But at least be there to answer some of the questions.
Lynn Geiger 26:03 I think it’s more important that I ask the questions. Ah, and they have the answers.
Debi Lynes 26:10 Do you think we know the questions? Obviously, that’s what you’re saying. You’re saying, what you can do is actually maybe bring the questions from an unconscious or I just feel anxiety. I’m not really sure what I’m feeling where you might have to experience an acronym to say, okay.
Lynn Geiger 26:29 It sounds like you might be talking about this. Or, yes. So here’s a couple of things. I’m wondering if it’s one of these things.
Debi Lynes 26:36 How do you feel about a client coming in? Again, if I’m 66, my dad, my dad’s 92. What about family kinds of counseling sessions or therapeutic sessions like session.
Lynn Geiger 26:48 I love those. I love that. That’s what I adore.
Debi Lynes 26:52 What helps you when a client comes to see you what kind of information can really arm you to be your best professional? In other words, what do you want me to come armed with? Do I need to have a goal? Do I need to just have the willingness to kind of explore and be there?
Lynn Geiger 27:15 I don’t think I have any real demands or expectations about that. Because what, of course, different people come in with different stuff. And then I kind of go from there.
Debi Lynes 27:24 And you guys can’t see him. But it was really interesting when I just asked that question, because she was like, I don’t really think you need to be armed with anything. I mean, that’s exactly what you looked at me. Like I really understand even the question.
Lynn Geiger 27:35 Right, right. I love the people that come in and they have a checklist, right? they’ve written or they’ve written out their narrative of their life or hear the quote, here’s what I hear are my goals. Okay, right. But I’m comfortable with someone who says, I don’t really know what’s wrong with me, but there’s something wrong. Okay. And I’m equally comfortable with someone who’s saying, you know, I want to talk about this stuff, and I don’t want to talk about it with my priest because I know what he’ll tell me.
Debi Lynes 28:00 So what I hear you say is come sooner rather than later. Oh, of course, oftentimes that’s the best time to come is before things get to a point of crisis. And I think if you can if we can convince or you can convince people of that, I mean, that’s the whole name of the game.
Lynn Geiger 28:14 I, but still, if you can’t come before the crisis come after. Okay, so you can process.
Debi Lynes 28:21 Okay. And that makes sense to in our last remaining couple of minutes if people are interested, again, since this is national, and maybe when I talk to you or are curious, do you have a phone number or website or anything that you would like to share?
Lynn Geiger 28:35 Sure. On my website, which is my name. I’m Lynn Geiger. With an “E”, use my middle initial. So it’s firstname.lastname@example.org.
Debi Lynes 28:48 Okay, I really appreciate it. I want to thank all of you for listening today. I think it was. I got a lot of information. I think you will too. We will see you next week. Bye. Bye. Thank you. I’d like to introduce you to a friend of mine, Tracy. Tracy is naturally curious, and always creative. And when we were doing the Aging in Place Podcast, she said, there are so many quick tips that I can think of offhand. My response, who knew she’s going to be with us every week, giving us a quick tip. And to hint, that is a practical application.
Tracy Snelling 29:28 Thanks Debi. Pop the tops. Do you have toddlers and school-aged children who love to dress themselves but just haven’t developed your sense of fashion yet? Or maybe even older seniors are ones who are colorblind to arrange outfits on hangers, which also means more closet space, use a soda pop can tab just slip the hanger through the hole using the hook and then hang your matching piece through the other opening. No more struggling with coordinating clothes. You can even hang labels with the days of the week on them too. Who knew making your kindergartener smile was so easy. Now if you can only find that missing shoe.
Debi Lynes 30:07 Lynn Geiger is an amazing interview. And of course, there are some wonderful takeaways from every speaker that we have. Today, especially I heard we baby boomers, we’re not going down gracefully. We haven’t admitted yet that we’re actually aging. So my takeaway is this: enjoy every minute. Don’t hesitate to talk to a professional if you’re feeling isolated or lonely, or you’re just not sure what’s going on. Thank you all for listening today here on Aging in Place Podcast for any stage in life.
Henrik de Gyor 30:41 Aging in Place Podcast is hosted by Debi Lynes and produced by Henrik de Gyor. If you have any comments or questions, send an email to Debi@aginginplacepodcast.com. We would love to hear from you. If you’re interested in advertising or sponsoring this podcast email us at PR@aginginplacepodcast.com Thank you for listening to Aging in Place Podcast.
Don’t be afraid to call. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and certainly don’t be intimidated by professionals. Dustin is very easy to talk to and I think we all learned a lot about saving at any stage in life.
Debi Lynes (00:03): Hi and welcome to aging in place for every stage in life. What if you could visit or have a home that would accommodate anyone at any age, any physical ability at any time? How cool would that be? That’s what we’re doing here at aging in place. Why me? Because I’m a doctor of psychology and I specialize in physical spaces in health and wellness. Also, I love designing with intent at any age. Why now? Because we the baby boomers want to age in place gracefully and we want our families around us as much as we can and why you the audience? Because we want you to experience what it’s like to have a home that’s safe, aesthetically pleasing, and that you can live in at any age with any ability at any time. I’d like to introduce you now to Aging in Place Podcast for every stage in life.
Hi and welcome to aging in place for any stage in life. I’m here today with Dustin Wilder from Raymond James. Dustin, thank you so much for joining us.
Dustin Wilder (01:15): Thanks for having me, Debi.
Debi Lynes (01:16): I’m really excited about doing this today. I feel like if there’s one area that I feel naive in and the more I talk to people, I think there are many of us who are not secure with aging in place and really understanding from a financial point of view what we need to be doing. One of the things I love about the podcast is we’re talking about for any stage in life with grandchildren and then young adult children and then moving into old age. I would love to take our time today and talk about some different things that we could do at different stages in life. And I think to do that, I’d like to start backwards and I’m at 66 years old. I’d like to talk a little bit about things that I can do to plan for getting older. Before we start there, Dustin, I would love to chat a little bit about you, talk to us a little bit about you and about Raymond James and what you do.
Dustin Wilder (02:16): Great. Thanks Debi. It’s really almost hard to call this work because I have the privilege of coming into the office every day and I get to help people. Okay. I help people solve challenges, problems, if you will, with money. Okay. So for somebody who’s in their sixties, you know, one of the things we’re constantly talking about is longevity planning and today somebody might live into their mid-nineties, so if you’re retiring, it’s 60 or 65 years old, you’re talking about 35 plus years of retirement and living on that income and having enough saved. And we have some just amazing technology and great software that helps us solve those problems when we factor in things like inflation or taxes and how that will apply or impact these dollars is we fast forward in time. And you know, one of the things that we do is we run a plan called GPM goal planning and monitoring and it’s almost what I would consider to be GPS for financial planning. Yeah. One of the biggest obstacles we find is that people have not really saved enough for retirement in the later years. Shat I mean by that is aging in place. You know, today it’s taken on a whole new shape or format and that many people, you know, desire to stay at home or stay in the community where they have you know grown up and raise the kids and they don’t you know, perform to what.
Debi Lynes (03:57): Right. We don’t necessarily want it. Exactly. We don’t necessarily want to go into assisted living or into another place. We want to live near our families or in the home that we grew up in.
Dustin Wilder (04:12): That’s exactly right. And it all costs money and you know, things that, that we have done as a firm we’ve taken some major leaps to really help us as advisors better understand what our clients are feeling and what they’re going through. In fact, years ago we partnered with MIT in something they have called the AgeLab. In the AgeLab, we actually had several advisors and several of the higher-ups in our firm spend a day at MIT and they put us through this whole orientation, if you will, to go through what it’s like to be someone aging in place. And let me give you an example. One of the things they did, they put the participants in these uniforms that looked like they were a hazmat clean up or something, but it ended up they had restrictive bands on the elbows and on the knees. So it’s harder to move. Okay. And they had them simulate going to a grocery store and reaching to the top of the shelf to get the can of peanut butter or beans or whatever is on that top shelf. And to feel what it’s like to have that struggle. And that pain. They also put them behind the wheel, a steering wheel of a car, a simulated car that had slower reactions. So they put them in a simulator and had them drive through traffic with these delayed reactions. And then the other thing they have is, are these goggles that you wear that actually simulate cataracts. And having visible impairments. So it was quite a day for the staff and for, you know, several of the folks at Raymond James. But what it helped them is really understand and relate to just, you know, going out to the grocery store and what an effort and what a challenge it is. And at the takeaway of this was, was somewhat simple but profound. And the three most important takeaways from this study were to answer these three questions, “who will help me change my light bulbs?” You think about that just a simple task, but it involves climbing up on a ladder, possibly balancing the, you know the act of actually removing the old ball, putting the new one in without dropping it or breaking it and then putting the ladder away. But who’s going to help you if you live alone in your aging in place? Who is going to do that?
Debi Lynes (06:44): What’s interesting about that is we just talked to a firefighter and guess what? Guess who gets called?
Dustin Wilder (06:51): The firefighter.
Debi Lynes (06:53): Interesting.
Dustin Wilder (06:53): That’s crazy that you would never would think that. And I have a friend who was a higher up at the Kroger company and they used to years ago, they were very early in the delivery of groceries and they couldn’t figure out what the delays were associated with this. But these, the baggers would get to the person’s house, deliver the groceries and they say while you’re here, can you help me hang this curtain or this drape? and you know, they were having them do these daily chores and it’s really an obstacle. So these are one of this is what just one of the things we have to help our clients plan for them. We’re seen a shift is clients’ age in place and no longer are they concerned about buying things and stuff now spending money on services.
Debi Lynes (07:36): Correct? Yes, exactly. Even I have my I’m 66 and have my 91-year-old father with me and it is interesting. His, his money output now is definitely not on buying stuff. It is 100% on services and I never really thought about it. I’m certainly paying attention. What a gift to have him here cause like paid attention a lot more. As I’m getting older to things I would never have considered right until I need it. Right? So the first question was who will change the light bulbs? What was the second question?
Dustin Wilder (08:11): The second question is, “how will I get an ice cream cone?” Again, something that sounds very simple, right? But it’s the concept of, you know, going out physically, getting into a car, having someone take you there, having companionship to take you there. And it’s an event. It’s not about the ice cream cone. It’s not about the cost of the ice cream cone. It’s about the experience. And again, you know, there are some great technological advances out there, things such as Uber and things such as delivering your groceries at home. But if you’re living by yourself, you’re probably not going to want to do everything by yourself.
Debi Lynes (08:59): Well, isolation is the biggest cause of depression and frankly early deaths with people who are aging in their aging in place. But all alone.
Dustin Wilder (09:12): You’re exactly right. And you know, I think a great example of this is you know, Sun City is right here in our backyard and it’s, you know, 9,600 rooftops or whatever. And it is a community in itself. But one of my favorite things about that community, every time I drive through the security gate there, I feel like I have entered a college campus for retirees, pickleball, tennis, we sponsor a men’s and women’s softball team there. I tell you what it is like one of the most popular events on Tuesdays and Thursdays there the streets are lined with golf carts. People come out for hot dogs and corn dogs and beers and sodas. And it’s just a community affair. It’s a great event. And we love sponsoring this because we love seeing how active this community is, how they get out. And we even have a sponsorship sign out in the outfield.
Debi Lynes (10:09): Oh, that’s so cool.
Dustin Wilder (10:10): Great way to, you know, see that this, this community is active. Exactly. Yeah. The ice cream cone analogy is more about being active, being with other people and avoiding that isolation.
Debi Lynes (10:26): So our third question, sir,
Dustin Wilder (10:29): Third question is “who will I have lunch with?” So again
Debi Lynes (10:37): That isolation piece. Yeah.
Dustin Wilder (10:39): Yeah. It’s so important. I mean, if you’ve ever been on the road or traveled, you can relate that it’s pretty depressing to sit there and eat a meal by yourself and your people watch and you see other people interacting together and you know, families together and you kind of get lonely. And that’s just, you know, one or two nights if you’re on the road traveling. But if you’re that way because of no choice of your own, either through death or maybe divorce of a spouse or just whatever circumstances may be, and you find yourself alone, “who will I have lunch with?” becomes a big deal. And it’s not just getting to the location, but it’s who will you…
Debi Lynes (11:16): Yeah. who will you interact with? You know, with that said, in these three questions asked, I think it’d be, we’re going to take a quick break, Dustin, and we’re going to come right back. And I would love to hear how you and Raymond James can really help us as we’re aging in place, deal with some of these basic questions financially. Stay with us. We’ll be right back here on aging in place.
Hi, I’m Dr. Debi Lynes. Design elements are psychologically and physically supportive and conducive to health and wellness. To learn more about what Lynes on Design can do for you for more information, on certified aging in place, and facilitative and supportive design, look for us at lynesondesign.com. That’s L-Y-N-E-S on design dot com.
Henrik de Gyor (12:03): For more podcast episodes, links, information and media inquiries, please visit our website at Aging in Place Podcast.com as we transition through life with comfort and ease you deserve. Discover how you can create a home that will adapt to you as you journey through life and the changes it will bring. Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as our host Debi Lynes and her expert guests discuss relevant topics to creating a home for all decades in life. Don’t miss our weekly episodes of Aging in Place Podcast. For every stage in life.
Debi Lynes (12:40): We are back here on aging in place. Once again, we’re here with Dustin Wilder from Raymond James.
Dustin Wilder (13:03): It’s been fascinating listening to what you all have done around aging in place. Let me ask you a question about what Raymond James can do, not to help the process of aging in place, but I look at you all as peace of mind. Is that a fair way to describe you?
Dustin Wilder (13:22): You know, it’s a great way to describe it. Sometimes you feel like a financial psychiatrist and it’s just helping clients kind of reason through questions that they may be asking and you help, you know, bring sense to that by, you know, putting it on paper for them and showing them that, Hey, you do have enough to support this dream or big decision or idea that you have for retirement. Because let’s face it, retirement today is, is a lot different than it used to be. And a lot of that is, is what we coined the phrase of longevity planning. And in that planning phase, you know, we have to take into consideration things such as longterm care and you know, that has such a negative connotation to it. If we can address it and show here’s how we would pay for that if something did happen or if your desire was to stay at home and age in place, here’s how we would pay for or arrange for someone to come in and install the bars on the shower and to make the house.
Debi Lynes (14:27): Yeah. So here’s what would help me. I am a 66-year-old woman who walks into Raymond James and says, just that a Dustin, I’m very, I’m hopeful that I am going to be able to age in place. I’ve worked all my life as self-employed just as an example and haven’t really had the opportunity to save a lot of money. Could you take me through some steps of things I might consider and then creative ways that I can financially manage it. And, Oh, by the way, Dustin, I’m a little intimidated and embarrassed to talk about finances. Does that sound like any kind of client that you’ve ever dealt with?
Dustin Wilder (15:08): Absolutely. And you know, it’s statistically proven that a majority of the wealth in this country is managed by women. And a lot of times it’s just assumed that the man or the male in the relationship will make the financial decisions. And you know, demographics have changed over the years. Things have changed over the years in the workplace where females are out-earning men. And you know, it’s, it’s a wonderful thing, but it’s also forcing us to, to really take some bold steps in showing someone, you know, who walks into the office for the first time, what our capabilities are. But I think a lot of that is just putting someone at ease and sitting down having a coffee, just a casual conversation, not a hard sell, not talking about what we call charts or statistics or anything like that. A lot of time it’s just, you know, understanding what’s on a person’s heart and then if you can take that and put that in the form of a financial plan. But again, keep it simple enough where you know, you can show someone on one piece of paper or one page that Hey, you have enough and you’re not going to run out of money. Or it might be wait a minute. Even if it’s inconvenient to say you don’t have enough, you may want to think about working a few more years mean a little bit. Yeah. More and not turning on your social security just quite yet as tempting as it may be, because we have the ability to show and illustrate things such as, you know, when it’s most efficient to take social security benefits either at full retirement age or waiting until the very end at 70 and a half. And then couple that with, you know, taking distributions from IRAs and the different taxes may apply. But what we really try to do, Deb is to simplify it down to one page where we show someone they’re probably ability of success. And that, that factors in taxes, inflation, longevity, living into your mid-nineties. And we want to find that, you know, a successful plan involves you having money in the bank, still at the end of that plan. So you’re not bouncing, bouncing that last check so to speak. You know, if you have heard that phrase bouncing the last check, going to the cemetery, not a good successful plan and it’s, it’s also not successful for me to call you at 86 and say, okay Deb, time to brush off that resume, you need to go back to work. You know, we want to make sure that we’re if anything we err on the side of caution.
Debi Lynes (17:45): Okay, so let’s say this, I call you and I say, I am going to come in. How can I be a better consumer and really help you do the best you can do for me? What do I need to bring in? What do I need to be armed with? What kind of questions do I need to be prepared for?
Dustin Wilder (18:06): Well, really good question. So a lot of that is just organization, you know, bringing in statements or a knowledge of your budget. And a lot of people cringe when they hear that word budget. But you know, just if you could bring the checkbook and we could go through it together and look at the last month, what your average expenses were, but really understanding what the needs are from a cashflow standpoint and then identifying all the different sources of income that you may have, whether it be pensions or social security withdrawals from investments or IRAs, that sort of thing. And then, you know, we factor that with just a regular standard cost of living adjustment. On average, they cost about 2% a year. But when you factor things like healthcare into the mix, healthcare has a rising cost of inflation of nearly 11%, prescription drugs even higher at 13%. So we have to incorporate that in the plan. And how will be, you know, you’re active and you’re not going to get sick, but let’s face it, a lot of times, you know, that’s something that a lot of people don’t budget for. So we have to, you know, look at how that might be affected if Medicare, Medicare part B did not cover everything.
Dustin Wilder (19:15): Right now, many adult parents provide financial help to their adult children. It just in some way in some aspect could be, you know, monthly it’s not going to be in some cases, you know, I’ve seen the sandwich effect where a mom and dad were ready for retirement and their daughter was divorced and moved in with their single daughter and the mother-in-law moved in because she needed help. They age in place and you know, talk about the sandwich effect. They had it at both ends. Well, it’s in their retirement plan by like 7 years.
Debi Lynes (20:12): Well that’s funny because my parents moved in three years ago at 89 and my mom passed away. But my dad’s still living with me at 91. And it is interesting because I had never in my wildest dreams ever thought that that would happen. And yeah, I see exactly what you’re saying. And when one of your kids then says, okay, well I’m moving back to the area, can you help me out for a couple of months until I get my feet on the ground? That’s what you’re calling. Yeah, the sandwich effect.
Dustin Wilder (20:42): And you would do anything that’s family, you do anything to help them. With technology and the advancements in medicine and you know, we’re much more health conscious today and what’s going into our bodies. And as far as staying physically active, I mean, it’s just amazing.
Debi Lynes (21:16): So are we, so are my kids more financially savvy than I am? It seems as though my father, my 91-year-old father, they were raised in an era of saving. Okay. I think at 66 I was more in that baby boom of living, working hard. But as far as saving, we were infallible. You know, we were just, and now I’ve got my kids in their thirties and forties and do savings patterns change over time? or investment financial planning?
Dustin Wilder (22:03): It’s both really. And if you think about it in your father’s generation life expectancy, he’s through the through the roof, I mean chartwise.
Debi Lynes (22:13): Oh yeah. Yeah true.
Dustin Wilder (22:14): Because the average life expectancy back then was probably mid to late sixties and back then workers had pensions in defined benefit plans. Today, less than 23% of workers are offered a pension plan. Now we have other means of savings, like vehicles, like 401ks and Roth IRAs and that sort of thing. But it puts a lot more on us on the individual to save and put it away rather than maybe earning less and having a pension benefit. They’re waiting for you when you do retire, why changed completely because of longevity, because of the fact that people are now into their nineties.
Debi Lynes (22:53): What is the advantage of going to a Dustin Wilder and a Raymond James? What is the, what is the, it seems to me like, because I’m a psychologist and I’ve been a designer, I believe in going to professionals. I don’t have to be an expert. I just have to find the expert.
Dustin Wilder (23:12): Sure great, great question. Yeah, I get it. And you know, there, there are a lot of do it yourself or is out there. There’s a lot of millennials that, you know, favor doing it themselves and they’re, they’re pretty tech-savvy. Okay. And when, when we meet them and we’re impressed with how much they can do with technology, but there comes a point in time where it’s always good to get an objective opinion and you think about, you know, some of the best athletes in the world, you know why does Phil Mickelson have a coach? You know, he could probably go out and beat any one of us any given day in golf. But the reason he has a coach is to get that objective opinion, to get that view or that angle that he’s not seeing. And you know, a lot of times we just partner with our clients and play with our relationships. So from that aspect it’s, it’s not intimidating and you know, it’s like I said, I am blessed and that everyday I get to come to work and help people.
Debi Lynes (24:10): And what’s interesting to me about that is I would think that your industry is a dynamic and fluid. And while I might be very tech-savvy to begin with, my assumption is if it’s not my profession, it’s not going to be my priority to keep up with what is trending and what is really going on. And I would think that would be another reason to trust a professional. It is your job and passion. Okay. To keep up with everything that’s going on.
Dustin Wilder (24:47): Absolutely. And you know, just with tax law changes alone, there’s a lot of advantages and benefits that a lot of people may not even be aware of. So one example would be longterm care and how it’s changed over the years. It used to be you bought a policy and you paid annual premiums every year and if you know, God forbid you got hit by the old proverbial bus, that money was gone, right and you wasted all that money on all those premiums. All those years. Now the insurance companies have said, wait a minute, we realized not everybody you know, is going to benefit from this insurance. So let’s make it so that it pays them premium back to the family. So now you have return of premium longterm care policies or you have life insurance policies with long-term care riders that cover the family. Either way, in the event of an unfortunate death or in the event of longterm care, you can start to deplete the death benefit tax-free to pay for longterm care expenses and that longterm care, it can be at home care, it can be reimbursement of a hospital bed or expenses that are associated with aging in place.
Debi Lynes (25:55): So there again, I don’t have to be the professional to know what is new, innovative and available for me. I have to be with you to know all that and count on you.
Dustin Wilder (26:07): Absolutely. You know, it’s, it’s one of these things that we want to bring to our clients attention and you know, in that realm of things to have that we’re talking about is, is another program that we use for our clients called Everplans. And Everplans is just a really great software program. It’s what I consider to be a personal wealth organizer, but it’s information that is important that should be shared and it’s there for your loved ones in the event they ever need to know something such as where is a copy of the will, Oh where is the healthcare or living will does mom or dad have a do not resuscitate? What is, you know, they’re an intention with this money and what do they want their funeral to look like? Or is it burial or is it cremation or you know, it’s all of these different things and a lot of people don’t want to talk about. But it was a program that was designed by Abby Schneiderman out of New York and she was planning her own wedding and she noticed and planning her own wedding. There’s these great sites like Pinterest and all these different ideas and you know, it was fun planning her wedding but is a financial planner. That was her role. She also was aware there’s great tools for planning for college and for retirement. But the thing is not everybody retires. Not everybody goes to college and not everybody gets married. But everybody dies.
Debi Lynes (27:35): So ending or end of life is huge.
Dustin Wilder (27:39): And it puts all of this important information on the cloud so that you can share it with your family and you can even designate what you want to share with them. When you want to share it. It’s non-transactional. So you know, everybody says, what if it got hacked? Well, if somebody hacked it, you know, they might find out if you want burial versus cremation. We’re not putting account numbers on it, we’re not putting routing numbers on it. It’s non-transactional. So it’s just, it’s what I consider to be breadcrumbs for the loved ones. You’re leaving a trail, you’re leaving information. Here’s where I keep the key to the safety deposit box. This is what you’re going to find in the content. And here’s why I selected you as the trustee to settle the estate. You know, compared to the rest of the family or the siblings. And here’s what I hope you do with this money and here’s what I wanted to instill on the next generation of grandkids, you know, so on and so forth. But it captures all of that and it puts it on a cloud so that they can access it within three seconds by clicking on a PDF.
Debi Lynes (28:37): So what I hear from you, okay, what I hear you saying is you really become an integral part of the family team at you. I mean that you really are part of this theme as I age in place, which means that I have a relationship with you that we really, like you said, it’s so well, I, I hear you, we become partners in this and you as the coach, advisor, whatever you want to say, can help guide me and provide me guidelines, not just for myself in aging in place, but for my for really to sick of my family.
Dustin Wilder (29:20): I couldn’t have said it better.
Debi Lynes (29:22): Wow. This is, you know, again, you don’t know what you don’t know. And I think, and I think many of us, I’m just being very transparent tend to be intimidated. But in talking to you, I feel the opposite. I feel as though part of your role and you said it probably best is coaching and educating me. Yes,
Dustin Wilder (29:47): Absolutely. So I truly believe when you become educated, you’re empowered and when you’re empowered, you’re going to make an informed and good decision. And if we can partner with you to make good decisions through your retirement or your parents’ retirement and aging in place, then I think there’s tremendous benefits is the best.
Debi Lynes (30:08): And before we go, I would love to know at what age do you recommend folks initially come to see you at Raymond James, Dustin?
Dustin Wilder (30:20): So, you know, it’s never too early to start and it’s never too late to start. I can honestly tell you in 20 years of doing this stuff, I’ve never had anybody come to me and say, “gosh, I wish I didn’t save so much for retirement.”
Debi Lynes (30:34): Good point. Yeah.
Dustin Wilder (30:35): It’s, it’s never too late. But you know, obviously, if you can start accumulating wealth and you’re, as you’re a working professional in your thirties and forties, you know, becomes a little easier in your late forties, by the time the kids are, you know, out of college, then you can really start saving. And, and that’s about the same time where you have aging parents that either need help or maybe need support. So you know, there’s always going to be life. There’s always going to be noise, distractions, challenges. But you know, by having a plan in place, even if you have to go with a plan B or C, that’s okay, but because at least we can help you develop a foundation and I, our average client is about 65 years old and that’s just because of demographically where we live in Hilton Head, South Carolina. If we were, you know, in Charlotte, I’m sure that age is going to be closer to 45.
Debi Lynes (31:26): So fascinating. I really appreciate you taking time out of your schedule. I know it’s a busy day for everyone. I want to thank you again, a Dustin Wilder from Raymond James and I want to thank all of you for listening to aging in place for any stage in life. Thanks again.
Dustin Wilder (31:44): Thank you.
Debi Lynes (31:46): I’d like to introduce you to a friend of mine, Tracy. Tracy is naturally curious and always creative. And when we were doing the aging in place podcast, she said, there are so many quick tips that I can think of offhand. My response, who knew. She’s going to be with us every week, giving us a quick tip and to hint that is a practical application.
Tracy Snelling (32:14): Thanks Debi. Learn to say yes. We need to remind ourselves that allowing others to help us does not mean we are incompetent. If they do not want to help, they would not ask if you need it. Even if your child asks to help dust and you know that you will have to do it ‘your way’ afterwards, let them dust. I actually bought my kids real sweepers when they were toddlers. Why buy a toy sweeper when they can actually clean without thinking about it being a chore. So the next time someone asks you, you need anything from the store, hand over that shopping list. Learn to say yes. Who knew life can be made a little more simple by saying such a small word.
Debi Lynes (32:58): I really enjoyed our interview today with Dustin Wilder from Raymond James and I got quite a few takeaways. I think the most important thing I learned, don’t be afraid to call. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and certainly don’t be intimidated by professionals. Dustin was very easy to talk to and I think we all learned a lot about saving at any stage in life. Thank you for joining us here on aging in place for any stage in life.
Henrik de Gyor (33:28): Aging in Place Podcast is hosted by Debi Lynes and produced by Henrik de Gyor. If you have any comments or questions, send an email to email@example.com we would love to hear from you.
If you’re interested in advertising or sponsoring this podcast, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for listening to Aging in Place Podcast.